Geoshare is talk of the town at Houston gathering (July 1997)

The First International Conference on Petroleum Data Integration and Management took place last month in Houston. The Geoshare User Group wanted a higher profile and delegated the management of their annual event to the Petroleum Network Educational Council, a division of Philip C. Crouse and Associates Inc.

The presence of around 140 attendees (half service companies, half oil company personnel) demonstrated the success of this "repackaging". The proceedings began with a couple of papers vaunting the merits of Geoshare as a data transfer mechanism. Geoshare, although a Schlumberger sponsored development is a truly open environment, and development kits can be obtained by any third party for a modest sum. The essential idea of Geoshare is that an application can output or receive data through a "half link". Stuart McAdoo described how the half link concept is implemented using an application independent data model. This was initially designed in 1990 and now, version 10 supports 8 major data types including seismics, wells and surfaces. The data model is implemented on top of the API RP66 specification (see the Paper on RODE in this issue for a further discussion of this technology). Data transfer thus no longer requires specific converters for each pair of sending and receiving applications. So long as both applications "talk" Geoshare, then for an exploration shop with N different applications, you only need N half links. Without Geoshare, you will theoretically need (N squared – N)/2 reformatters. Just in case that is not entirely clear, if you have 6 separate applications you will either require 6 Geoshare half links, or 15 reformatters if you do it the hard way.

Best of breed

Geoshare makes sense then, in today's "best of breed" multi-vendor environment. Since 1991, when Geoshare was incorporated as a not for profit company, it has been administered by its members through two committees: Data Modeling and Encoding, and Ancillary Standards. Geoshare has a World Wide Web page at, where the data model is freely available together with a catalogue of commercial half links. The migration of the Geoshare data model to Epicentre has been mooted, but although no one want's to rule this out, it would seem very unlikely to happen in any foreseeable future, Geoshare practitioners are pretty happy with what they've got thank you very much! Recently Geoshare has moved into the PC Windows domain with the appearance of half link to MS Access. Bill Sumner (Independent Consulting Services - ICS) was particularly bullish about Geoshare, stating that Geoshare could become the industry standard data model once every application includes a Geoshare half link. Today there are around 50 packages that utilize Geoshare. Sumner's company ICS even has a GeoBasic high-level development tool, which uses the concept of a Universal Geoshare Receiver.

Not magic

Of course Geoshare is not magic. Jack Gordon of Conoco emphasized the care necessary to ensure data integrity during transfer especially with the problems associated with topographic datum shifts, and when two applications have a fundamentally different view of data representation. The deployment and regular use of Geoshare is not for the faint hearted. Companies making regular use of Geoshare either have substantial in-house resources to manage this environment, or will be involved in major outsourcing projects.

Valuable case histories of Geoshare based implementations were described by various speakers. This month's actuality has left us short of space and we

Click here to comment on this article

If your browser does not work with the MailTo button, send mail to with PDM_V_2.0_199707_8 as the subject.

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.